RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (August 13, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a Sunday evening report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. Our thoughts are with the family of Heather Heyer, who was tragically killed yesterday in Charlottesville as she fought for what she believed in. I’m disgusted at all the racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions that occurred on Saturday, and pray that this kind of situation doesn’t happen again.

Though we need more time to heal from what happened, let’s do some of that through music. Here’s this week’s Top 40 report:

“BACK” AT THE TOP: For two weeks in November 2015, Canadian singer and songwriter Shawn Mendes held at the #1 spot at the format with “Stitches”, which also just happened to be his very first top 40 hit (after two misses, however) on the chart. Now, his second #1 comes via “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, up from #2 last week. The track is taken from a reissue of Mendes’s former #1 album, Illuminate, which came out in its updated form in April. Of course, this song also spent three weeks at the top of my chart in June and July, recently falling out of the top ten. Mendes’s reign will be a short, but sweet one, but at least it happened.

Though a number of songs are continuing to build up larger gains, significant chart movement is still on the low side this week. Up a notch to #10 is the only track to enter the region on the current list, “Feels” by Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean. Again, in the top 20, only one single moves into the section: up 22-20, “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato. If someone, or some people, could kindly shake up the chart in the next few weeks with a few iconic A-list singles, that would be great!

IN THE PINK: It’s a stellar week for pop superstar P!nk, who debuts way up at #34 on this week’s Top 40 chart with “What About Us”. This is the 27th top 40 single for the hot performer, who made her debut in 2000 with two consecutive #2 hits: “There You Go” (7/14/00 R&R) and “Most Girls” (11/10-24/00 R&R). Of course, she’s now had nine #1 songs to date, spending 28 total weeks in the top spot to date. (We’ll see if she adds to that this fall!) “What” is the lead single from her forthcoming album Beautiful Trauma, out October 13, which I am certainly looking forward to. Believe it or not, it’s her first studio album in five (!) years.

Just in case you wondering, “There” fell from 10-16 and “Most” climbed from 38-31 on the equivalent chart from this week in 2000. As for the top spot, that went to “Bent” by Matchbox Twenty, which was spending its first of two weeks there. Besides P!nk, there are two additional solo performers, Britney Spears and JAY-Z, who appeared on that chart and a top 40 hit during 2017. (A third performer, Beyoncé, was a part of Destiny’s Child on the 2000 chart.)

DON’T COUNT ‘EM OUT: One of the hottest new boy bands to appear on the pop charts is a five member act who call themselves Why Don’t We. With millions of video views and audio streams to date, the quintet starts at #45 with their first entry, “Something Different”. The group debuted about a year ago, releasing three EPs and some collaborations with YouTube star Logan Paul before a major label signed them. They’re currently on a radio tour to promote their song, which narrowly made it into the tenth Most Added spot on last Tuesday’s report. (It could be back there this Tuesday, so stay tuned.)

“Something” is one of three new entries just below the top 40 on this Sunday’s pop chart, with “Two Ghosts” (#41) by Harry Styles and “Take It All Back” (#49) by Judah & The Lion also making their debuts. “Two” is, in fact, the second solo single for Styles, but “Take” is the first chart hit for the Nashville quartet, which topped the Alternative chart for three weeks in December and January.

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